My pendant-a-day kit is what makes it possible for me to create every single day. Since my studio is several miles from my home, I normally don’t work there every day, so I needed a solution that would allow me to create pendants at home. Also, I needed the tools that would enable to me to create a pendant quickly, for those days when I’m rushing out the door and don’t get home again until nearly bedtime.

Here are the ‘bare bones’ materials you need if you want to make your own kit:

  • pliers – I have chain nose, round nose, and wire snips
  • head pins – these can be manufactured or handmade, and should be an appropriate gauge for the beads you use most often
  • a small baggie of assorted beads. Mine are mostly gemstones, with a few pearls and glass beads for variety.
  • a box or bag to keep the materials in. This should be small and portable, so that you could bring it on trips or even to work.

Possible additions to make your kit a little more ‘exciting’ (but don’t include so many that your kit becomes too big to be portable):

  • some wire in assorted gauges, so that you can sculpt fancy head pins or add wirework details like weaving and sculpting to your pendants
  • found objects, such as shells or game pieces, that could easily be wire-wrapped
  • thin wire and a crochet hook for wire crochet pieces
  • craft wire (comes on small spools) in different colors
  • seed beads, which can be strung on headpins or woven with a needle and thread
  • fibers, which might include fancy yarn, ribbon, etc.
  • pretty papers – paper beads are fun and easy to make, why not paper pendants? You would also need glue or resin or that thick embossing stuff to seal your paper jewelry.
  • findings besides headpins – I’ve seen some great pendants created with toggle clasps
  • anything else that gets your creative side working and is appropriate for making jewelry

What’s actually in my kit (as of September 19th, 2006):

  • everything in the ‘bare bones’ list, including both sterling and gold filled head pins
  • some freeform pendant ‘frames’ I made that don’t yet have beads wired onto them
  • three small abalone shells that my friend Joy gave me to play around with
  • 24 gauge sterling and gold filled wire, for coiling or weaving or attaching beads to the pendant frames
  • a few pre-filed lengths of 16 gauge silver wire to sculpt into freeform pendant designs
  • a few stones that I needed to bring back and forth between the studio and home for a custom order
  • some pendants I showed a client last week, and all the pendants I’ve made with the kit so far

Obviously, the last two items on the list have nothing to do with my ability to make a pendant every day at my house, but since the kit is so easy to take with me between home and the studio, I’ve started using it to transport things I’m working on or need to photograph. Mostly I just use the beads and head pins, and do my more ambitious work at the studio, where I have my torch, along with a much more extensive selection of materials and tools.

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